Following the death of Kogi State All Progressives Congress, APC governorship candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu and the controversies surrounding his replacement, Senator Mohammed Ohiare, representing Kogi Central in the Senate has ruled out any political gain for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the state.
Senator Ohiare, who spoke with some journalists yesterday in Abuja, insisted that “the issues being raised within the fold of APC over replacement of party’s flag bearer would not in any way translate into political gains for PDP”.
He added that PDP would still lose the rescheduled bye-election in the state since according to him, the party is dead in the state but waiting to be buried.
“What miracle will a party that managed to marginally win in five out of 21 local government perform in a supplementary election of 91 polling centres where 25, 000 valid votes are expected in the face of over 41, 000 deficit votes it incurred in the main election penultimate Saturday?” he asked.
APC had penultimate Sunday been thrown into confusion with the sudden death of its candidate, Audu in the governorship election declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which later fixed December 5 as date for supplementary election.
Audu’s death threw up probabilities of him being replaced by his running mate, James Faleke in the election they were already far ahead of their closest rival, governor Idris Wada of the PDP with about 41,000 votes or Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the man who came second in the APC gubernatorial primaries that produced Audu as party candidate or even the first son of the late Audu, Mohammed, as proposed by some groups within the party.
Though the party’s national working committee, NWC, through the National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, reportedly settled for Yahaya Bello from Kogi Central as Audu’s replacement on Saturday in the coming election, some other groups within the party kicked against the arrangement.
Ohiare declared that APC will come out of the seeming crisis stronger and eventually win the election in which he said was already leading.
According to him, the party was not in crisis as being insinuated over Audu’s replacement for the coming supplementary election but caught in the web of agitations and counter agitations from different quarters that preceded the NWC’s decision.
He said since the choice has already been made, all party stakeholders in the state are now working to join the flagbearers in claiming the mandate already given by Kogi electorate penultimate Saturday.
The lawmaker described as untrue, insinuations that the APC would lose the rescheduled Kogi governorship bye-election if the party presents a replacement who is not an Igala person.
“I don’t think the people will not vote for candidate that is not an Igala man. We are all brothers in Kogi State, I don’t know why people are carrying this rumours too far. Is it an Igala man that will not see me as a brother?
“Also, I don’t think that the rumours being peddled around that only Igala man will deliver the governorship election, is a fact. Whoever that the party presents from any part of the state would be embraced by all party members.
“That state is for all Kogites, all of us are stakeholders and we are ready to join efforts in order to move the state forward. As far as I am concerned, I don’t think any indigene of the state are the one holding such views, they are the options of foreigners”, he explained.
The late governorship candidate of the APC, Prince Abubakar Audu, was an Igala, the tribe which is believed to have the largest in population in the state.
It is generally believed that the electorate will not vote for any candidate, which did not emerge from the Kogi East Senatorial District, populated by the Igala.